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bottle!"—and he pointed to an empty one. "You ask a question, Quien sabe![1] is all you get for answer. You show them something they never saw before, 'Santa Maria, que bonito!' is their only exclamation.

But the most eloquent was a little German saddler, who wound up a long High-Dutch tirade against the miserable inhabitants of the country, their mode of living, their ignorance, dishonesty, and the hard lot which compelled him to cast his life away among such wretches, by saying, "There is not von man here so honest as my tog Spitz—Carampa!"

But in our case, besides this known feeling of jealousy of the Mexicans towards the foreigner, something was to be laid to the charge of the season of Lent, during which it seemed that there were neither bullfights nor tertullia.

In addition, the veteran Galli, the faded Pelligrini, in short, the whole corps d'opera Italienne was out of humour. And they might well be. They had been invited to charm the eyes and ears of the Mexicans for the season, under certain conditions. The government had bound itself to ensure them a certain amount of remuneration; that is, whatever sum their professional receipts might fall short of it, it had pledged itself to make good. Now, as it happened, the people were in poor spirits, and had neither time nor ears for them. Their receipts fell far short of their hopes, and in utter distress they applied to the liberal government. Government responded to their application in rather a cavalier manner; for instead of hard dollars, it sent a file of passports regularly made out, from the prima donna to the scene shifter and candle snuffer, and the advice to take their departure forthwith. This was poor satisfaction; but singers are proverbially unfortunate in Mexico. There was, for example, Garcia, who, travelling, was set upon by banditti and pillaged, even to his snuffbox, diamond ring, and pantaloons: after which, the robbers

  1. Who knows?